Using Sentence Frames to Jumpstart Writing
Lesson Objective: Structure writing with sentence frames
Grades 3-5 / ELA / ELL

Thought starters

  1. Why does Ms. Brewer give students the option of using sentence frames?
  2. How can you create a sentence frame that encourages varied responses?
  3. What makes sentence frames an effective strategy for English Language Learners?
21 Comments
Great idea and will be also very helpful for students with special needs to help model for them good sentence structure as well.
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Sentence frames are an essential tool in teaching the structure of writing a sentence. I also use them to get students started talking for a think-pair-share, which helps my ELs to contribute to the discussion.
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In my view sentence frames are important for EL and most students at the beginning of the learning, but need to be slowly removed through gradual release to insure students internalize the language we are asking them to use. This gradual release is essential for skill acceleration and independence. Note that ELs in early process of language acquisition will need frames longer.
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I taught Kinder last year and always used sentence frames during guided writing. I teach first now and plan to use them for all subjects. I do have a problem and I hope someone here can provide a solution. Many of my kinder kids would only fill in the blank, offering only one or two words on the page. I always started my lesson with modeling, explaining they are to have a complete sentence, writing what I have put on the board. It's only when I take them step by step that they can write the entire sentence. At the end of the year, I would write a sentence frame and brainstorm a word bank with them, write and draw the word bank in the sentence only to have several just write the word in the word bank. I hope someone has some advice on how to better implement this strategy. Thanks!!
Recommended (2)
I like the idea of using sentence frames. I would start by state the question and then have the question restated into the sentence frame. I like the idea that they have to prove their answer. I try very hard to get the students to find their "evidence" or details in the story and this is just another way to do that. I also like that the sentence frame is optional, because some students can create a better sentence with out the frame.
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Transcripts

  • TIMECODE COMMENT GRAPHICS

    TEXT:
    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    00:02:00 STACY BREWER: What is the author’s viewpoint about exploring? TEXT:
    Strategies:

    TIMECODE COMMENT GRAPHICS

    TEXT:
    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    00:02:00 STACY BREWER: What is the author’s viewpoint about exploring? TEXT:
    Strategies:
    Sentence Frames
    00:02:08 STACY BREWER: A sentence frame is a strategy that I use, especially for my English language learners to give them an opportunity to answer a question. TEXT:
    The author thinks exploring is ________
    Stacy Brewer
    5th Grade teacher
    Stevenson Elementary – Bellevue, WA
    00:02:18 STACY BREWER: It’s basically the setup of a sentence with a piece missing from it so that they can fill-in in the information. TEXT:
    I think Lewis and Clark were ________ because _________
    00:02:26 STACY BREWER: I’ve taken part of the job of writing away from the students so they can focus on the content.
    00:02:32 STACY BREWER: If you were going to fill-in this sentence, how would you fill it in? The author thinks exploring is… TEXT:
    The author thinks exploring is ________

    00:02:40 BOY: I think it’s exciting because you could find out new stuff about different things you never knew about.
    00:02:47 STACY BREWER: I write the sentence frames on sentence strips to help provide the students with the language that I’d like to hear them using when they’re talking about the answer and writing about the answer. TEXT:
    I think Lewis and Clark were ________ because _________
    00:02:59 STACY BREWER: How does the author feel about Lewis and Clark? In order to answer this question, you’re going to have to prove it to me.
    00:03:09 BOY: I think the author feels like that Lewis and Clark are very strong because they have to go through all these dangers and hazards.
    00:03:17 STACY BREWER: The sentence frames especially help my English language learners because it gives them a structure for answering the questions. It helps all of my students be successful.
    00:03:27 BOY: I think that Lewis and Clark were very brave because it says that Lewis considered the Mandan Indian stories about huge bears to be fanciful tales until one of the explorers was chased by a grizzly bear.
    00:03:44 STACY BREWER: Do you think you would have enough proof to be able to say that the author feels that Lewis and Clark is brave?
    00:03:49 STACY BREWER: The sentence frames help my students to understand what an answer might look like. For most of my students, I let them know that it’s optional, but it gives students an option for starting so they’re not staring at the paper not knowing where to begin. TEXT:
    The author thinks exploring is dangerous. Challenging and difficult. Accident.

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School Details

Stevenson Elementary School
14220 Ne 8th St
Bellevue WA 98007
Population: 460

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